Ohio Head Start Services Among Programs Facing Sequester Cuts


The Obama administration is warning citizens of consequences on the impending so-called sequester.

If there's no last minute deal, $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts would begin March 1.

With the deadline for action less than a week away, both Democrat and Republican chief executives meeting in Washington warn of widespread economic fallout.

The White House released a document breaking down possible consequences for each state.

In Ohio, officials said 350 teachers and aides could lose their jobs. Around 26,000 defense employees face furloughs.

Also, Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 2,500 children in Ohio, reducing access to critical early education.

Head Start programs are full of children getting ready for the future, according to program coordinators.

“That child's play is going to create the foundation - is creating the foundation, for lifelong learning,” said Anita Davis, Public Relations Manager of Child Development Council of Franklin County, Inc.

The Child Development Council delivers Head Start services to more than 2,500 low-income children and families throughout Franklin County.

“These early years, zero to five are critical - they lay the foundation for success for Kindergarten and all the years beyond,” said Davis.

However, unless Congress acts by Friday, the series of automatic cuts would mean the loss of $2 million in cuts.

Davis said 50 staff positions would be gone and more than 250 children, and their families, would be removed from Head Start programs.

Davis said those cuts would force the agency to deny children a learning opportunity they truly need.

"Who gets to make that choice, and why do we even have to make it? I just hope, against hope, that they figure this out,” she added.

The sequester deadline was imposed to reduce the budget by $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

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